The Impact of Child Custody on Children: Putting Their Best Interests First

By Bob Matteucci

The number one concern of most divorcing parents is what impact the split will have on their children. Everything else is secondary.

It may comfort you to know that New Mexico’s family law courts feel the same way. Figuring out what is in the best interest of your child when a child custody agreement is struck is not just a moral imperative, it’s a legal requirement.

As a seasoned family law attorney, Bob Matteucci of Matteucci Family Law knows how to take our state’s custody law requirements and weave your child’s unique needs into it — coming up with a custody agreement that fits your family.

What is in Your Child’s Best Interest? 

New Mexico, like most other states, requires parents to consider the best interests of their child when negotiating a child custody agreement. As you attempt to determine what is best, you may want to consider the same factors the courts do when parents can’t come to an agreement and the court is required to decide what is best:

  • the wishes of the child;
  • the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  • the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; and
  • the mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

Weighing these factors can help you determine which parent should be awarded primary physical custody, and how much time the other parent should get to spend with them. 

Some Things To Keep In Mind

  • Your attitude will have a bigger impact on your kid than any child custody agreement ever will. Be positive, even if you are not happy with the plan that is struck. 
  • Most parents do not end up splitting physical custody 50/50… and that’s okay. Children need 100% of your love, not 100% of your time in order to feel connected to you. 
  • Physical custody is not the only type of custody. State law, specifically NM Stat § 40-4-9.1 (2021), makes it very clear that divorcing couples should expect to co-parent their children even after their relationship has ended. This means you share the responsibility for making decisions about your child’s upbringing and care even when they are not physically with you. 
  • What is in your child’s best interest may change over time. In a few years it may be necessary to modify your child custody agreement to reflect your family’s current circumstances. 

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion 

Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to help you navigate your divorce and New Mexico’s family court system with the best interests of your child in mind. He will make sure their well-being is always at the forefront of any decision-making. Please contact him today to learn more and to schedule a confidential consultation.

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.